After a solid start to the 2016 spring campaign, the No. 15 Cal women’s golf team has found itself in a bit of a slump. Although the Bears were able to finish in the top 10 for the fifth time this spring and ninth overall on the season, it seems that this may not have been the way they wanted their regular season to end.
In the three-day, three-round Silverado Showdown in Napa, California, the Bears finished the tournament in seventh out of 18 teams. On the par-72 course, Cal finished 29 shots (+30, 894) behind eventual champion No. 7 Stanford (+1, 865).
Cal capped off the first day finishing tied at seventh shooting a +12 (300). For only the second time this season, no Bear was able to finish up the opening day with a score of par or better. The second day was their overall best, helping the team move up to fourth in the standings and improving by 11 strokes from the day before (+1, 289). The final day saw them regressing back to how they opened the tournament, finishing 17 shots over par for the round (305).
In the last regular season tournament of her Cal career, senior Hannah Suh did not have the performance the Bears would typically expect from her. The Pac-12 Golfer of the Month showed glimpses in the tournament of why she was given this honor. She got off to a slow start, however, in the first round shooting seven shots over par only to come back the following day and stroke a 73. On the final day of the Showdown, she had another off day, stroking a 78 for a final score of +14 (230).
Throughout the course of the spring season, different players have been able to step up for Cal, and this time it happened to be junior Lucia Gutierrez and freshman Marianne Li who were able to help the Bears improve on the rough start. Gutierrez, the individual winner of last year’s Showdown, and Li were able to finish in the top 20, tying for 18th in a field of 96. After three rounds, they shot +5 (221). Gutierrez started off with a 77 only to shoot under par with a 70 on the second day and wrap up the three days with a 74. Li was the most consistent out of the team shooting only one shot over par on the first two days and finishing off with a 75.
Despite finishing with a very disappointing result, this tournament still stands as yet another stepping stone for the more important events that are yet to come for the Bears.
“This is all training for postseason,” said Cal head coach Nancy McDaniel in an email. “Even though it was not a good result, there was a wealth of lessons taken from the tournament which will be invaluable going down the stretch.”
Oscar Oxlaj covers women’s golf. Contact him at [email protected]